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Family dispute resolution

The law requires separating families who have a dispute about children to make a genuine effort to try to sort it out through family dispute resolution (FDR).

This requirement applies to anyone wanting to file an application with a family law court. It also includes those seeking changes to an existing parenting order. There are a few exceptions to this requirement, such as cases involving family violence, child abuse or urgency.

For families

You can visit Family Relationships Online for more information about the services and advice available for families, including seeking services from an FDR practitioner.

An FDR practitioner is an independent person who can help people discuss issues, look at options and work out how best to reach agreement in disputes about children. You can search for an accredited FDR practitioner who has nominated to be on the Family Dispute Resolution Register website.

To apply to go to a court parties will need a certificate from an accredited FDR practitioner. The certificate is issued under Section 60I of the Family Law Act 1975 and is commonly known as a Section 60I Certificate.

For family dispute resolution practitioners

This department is responsible for accrediting FDR practitioners. An accredited FDR practitioner meets specific standards contained in the Family Law (Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners Regulations) 2008.

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